Thursday, October 05, 2006 ::: Holy frijoles, I did it again! I am a neglectful blogparent. I should be locked up with all the other abusive parents in ye olde gaol. I'm surprised my blog hasn't become feral and started making up its own communiction system 'n' stuff. Well, I'm back now, so, per usual, let's play catch up, shall we?...
Last month Beth, her sister Chrissie, Chrissie's boyfriend Tom and I went to the Museum of Science in Boston to see the exhibition of BodyWorlds 2 there. I was quite amazed at how open most everyone who went into the exhibit was about looking at actual dead human bodies (not to mention a young colt, a lamb, and two camels!). I thought the whole deal was tastefully done and enjoyed it. I especially liked seeing some of the volunteer forms of people who asked to be "plastinated" after death, as most of them saw it as a way to give back to humanity even after death. I hope you all get to see it and I wonder what your reactions will be!
I started my new job on Sept. 11 (of all days!) and it's been going pretty well so far. I'm an e-commerce agent, which means that I check certain orders that have been placed on the company's website and see if they are fraudulent or not. It's definitely a change from customer service, and it's definitely one of those office cubicle jobs, but I make almost twice as much there than I did at Borders, and the people I've met so far are pretty cool. My contract goes through next April or May, after which they might ask me to stay, so we'll see how it goes!
Beth and I went to my cousin Megan's wedding at the end of last month, which was a fun occasion! They had it at a beachside country club and resort on Cape Cod. It was a little windy, and it sprinkled on us at times, but the weather held out it was a great ceremony (complete with actual harpist!). The spread at the reception was great, and Beth and I were kept entertained by my brother Jim and I my cousins Johnny and Courtney; my sides hurt after that meal! So once again Beth and I get more of an idea of what we want to do for our tying of the knot thanks to being invited to someone else's wedding (with one on the way this weekend!).
I've started playing with the Atlantic Wind Symphony on a regular basis, since they rehearse about 10-15 minutes away from where I work, so I can go after I get out of work and not have to go too far out of my way. Our first concert is a holiday concert on Saturday, Decmber 2, so mark it on your calendars!
Oh, and my tuba quartet, Pesante Brass, now has a presence on the web thanks to MySpace Music. Go check us out, and if you belong to MySpace already, friend us so you can keep up on our concert schedule! You won't regret it!
And, in parting, why don't you go listen to what a day-long performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony sounds like. Weird, yet strangely relaxing.
::: posted by Stephen at Thursday, October 05, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006 :::
IN MEMORIAM SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
::: posted by Stephen at Monday, September 11, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006 :::
BON ANNIVERSAIRE A MOI
Today was my 29th birthday. It kinda sucked because I had to work at my hellhole of a job today, but got much better once I was out of work. Beth got me CDs of Richard Pryor, Gnarls Barkley, and De La Soul, and then took me out to eat for supper at Bertucci's and then for ice cream at Sully's. I also got some much needed buckage from my mom in a few cards that she sent me. Not to mention a totally unexpected call from my little bro Jim wishing me a happy b.-day! All in all, a quiet birthday, but sometimes that's OK. :-)
::: posted by Stephen at Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006 :::
HALLELUJAH!!! I GOT A NEW JOB!!!
Holy crap, it's been a while since I've updated this thing! Well, let's see if I can catch you all up on what's happened since my last post. Pesante Brass' concert at Salem State College went very well; everyone there seemed to enjoy our program, and I got complemented on my piece Proclamation which we included in the concert! Portuguese band season is over early this year; our last gig was the first weekend in August. Oh yeah, and I GOT A NEW CAR AND A NEW JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes folks, yours truly is the new proud owner of a 2000 Toyota Sienna minivan (courtesy of Beth's wondrous parents! thank you!!!). I also am getting the hell out of Borders finally and starting at the beginning of next month to work a contract job for a large and famous company that specializes in making sound equipment. I will be an "e-commerce agent", which basically means I'll be checking orders people place on their website for potential credit card fraud and other illegal doings. One of the people I interviewed with told me that they have actually had to deal with members of the Russian mafia and international credit fraud rings based in Nigeria. Espionage! Intrigue! If I tell you folks any more, I'll probably have to kill you all, so I'll stop there. This past weekend, Beth and I went to go see the Patriots play the Arizona Cardinals in a pre-season game. I had heard that the Cardinals had picked up some good guys during the offseason (such as Edgerrin James from the Indianapolis Colts) and were no joke anymore. But, our boys gave them a nice warm welcome to the "Razor" (a.k.a. Gillette Stadium) by giving them a whuppin' to the tune of 30-3. Very nice! You can see Beth's report on the game and pics we took there right here. Needless to say, I am quite happy with how things are working out for me right now. :-)
::: posted by Stephen at Monday, August 21, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006 ::: Sorry for the long space in between posts, folks! Anyhoo, my tuba quartet, Pesante Brass, is going to be playing an informal concert at the 2006 Northeast Tuba-Euphonium Workshop at Salem State College (Salem, MA) on Thursday, July 20 at 7:30 PM in the Recital Hall of the new Music Building on campus. The concert is mainly for the workshop participants, but we were told we could invite whoever we wanted since the concert is free and not open to the general public. So come out and listen to us play! If you need directions, e-mail me and I can get them to you.
Also, following this interesting idea from Beth and others, here are some of MY favorite faces.
::: posted by Stephen at Saturday, July 15, 2006
Tuesday, July 04, 2006 :::
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!
::: posted by Stephen at Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Sunday, June 25, 2006 :::
ENSNARING THE WILD CHIPMUNK (A sort-of how-to)
A few weeks ago at work, I was sitting in the back office at the special orders desk, minding my own business, when all of a sudden a heard a kind of scratching noise. Now, last I had checked, I was the only person back there at that time, so I wheeled around to see who was there. Nobody. I soon realized that the suspect noise was coming from above head, so I looked up. Lo and behold, INSIDE the flourescent light fixture in the ceiling above my co-worker Steph's desk was some furry little rodent beast scrambling about. I notified one of the managers that there was something they should probably take a look at in the office, and soon we had a group of people back there trying to figure out how to get this thing out of the light. One of the managers, Vickie, tried lifting the plastic covering of the light, but the rodent leapt up and got out of the light and started running around the ceiling. Vickie then popped open one of the ceiling panels and went up with a flashlight to see if she could coax the little guy out. "Whoa, we've got a chipmunk!" she proclaimed as it darted past her at one point. Eventually he disappeared and everything calmed down. For a while.
The next night, cashiers reported that they could hear something moving in the wall behind the registers. A few nights later, the intrepid chipmunk appeared in all its ferocious glory out on the salesfloor during one of the busiest shopping nights of the week. Three managers raced around the store trying to trap it, with a horde of customers following them, some taking pictures of the event with their cell phones. (God bless technology, huh?) The evening ended without success in trapping our furry intruder. Chipmunk-2, Humans-zilch. However, the tide was about to turn.
The next morning, before the store opened, I was again at my desk working on special orders. My co-worker Liz was shelving on the second floor in the computer book section. Out of the blue, Liz's voice came on over the instore paging system: "The chipmunk is tn the computer section! I repeat, the chipmunk is in the computer section!" I sprang from my desk in full-attack mode, ready for whatever lay ahead. When I got to Liz, there was no sign of our furry foe. "I think he might be under one of the couches or displays around here," she whispered, so as not to inform the chipmunk that we might know of his whereabouts. I got down on the floor and started looking under displays, preparing to have a chipmunk launch itself directly at my face, while Liz went and found something to capture it in. She came back with an old green hooded sweatshirt and a winter glove that someone had left in a big box of unwanted clothes in the back office. Suddenly, Liz cried out, "There he goes!!!" I swear, he came out of nowhere. Nowhere. Just darted past us out on the open salesfloor, like he was both mocking and challenging us at the same time. He took Liz and I on a good ten minute chase around the second floor. Then, using our superior primate brains, Liz and I corralled him into the DVD section, where he tried to escape by running behind a set of locked DVD box set cases along the wall, only to find that the other end led straight into a wall. Liz quickly plugged up the opening with the sweatshirt. "I'll go find some stuff to catch him!" I promised Liz, and ran into the back office. I brought back a trash can and a broom. "We should make some sort of a barrier over here, so he can't get too far if he doesn't go directly into the trash can," Liz said. I quickly went over to the seating area and brought back two chairs which I laid on their sides and interlocked them right in front of the opening, creating a sort of chipmunk dam, if you will. "Now, you realize," I calmly said to Liz, "that when you take the sweatshirt away, if he doesn't go directly into the trash can, you're going to be stuck in there with him." "Oo, yeah, not good," Liz concurred, as she stepped over the chairs and out of the chipmunk corral. "All right, I'm taking the shirt away," Liz told me. She did, and nothing happened. "Maybe I should stick the broom handle down there," I postulated. However, the box set cases are up against the wall at an angle, and there is no opening at the top. So, I figured I would just knock on the wooden part at the bottom of the cases and try to spook the chipmunk into running out into the trash can. I banged along the bottom of the cases, gradually making my way toward Liz, who had the trash can up against the opening. All of a sudden, she yelled, "Got 'im!!!" Liz quickly covered the top of the trash can with the sweatshirt and got up. As we rushed downstairs, I could see something trying to poke through the sweatshirt. The little bastard was jumping up inside the can, trying to get out! I let Liz out the front door, and she raced across the street over to the wooded area there behind Market Basket. When she came back a few minutes later, she told me it was a good thing she was still wearing that winter glove when she went out there for the release. Apparently, when she removed the sweatshirt, the chipmunk jumped directly onto her hand and bit down, so that she actually had to end up flinging the rodent off of her hand into the undergrowth. A weak grope at vengeance, my furry friend. You got schooled that day, chipmunk, and never forget it.
::: posted by Stephen at Sunday, June 25, 2006